Emirates SkyCargo’s status as a leading innovator was confirmed this week as total shipments of e-freight, paperless cargo consignments, reached the one million kilos (approximately 1,102 tons) a month milestone. It also passed the 16 million kilo (approximately 17,637 tons) mark in total e-freight shipments this week.
Emirates, an enthusiastic advocate of the IATA initiative, and the world’s leading carrier of e-freight, achieved this landmark in just 19 months. The airline is now seeing around 12 percent of shipments from compliant airports being sent using e-freight. IATA estimates that the lower costs of e-freight are resulting in industry savings of up to $4.9 billion every year.
Key e-freight stations for Emirates SkyCargo include New York (JFK), Singapore, Zaragoza, Mauritius, London Heathrow, Hong Kong, Sydney, Munich and the carrier’s hub in Dubai.
Ram Menen, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Cargo, says: “E-freight is the future of our industry, and one we are embracing. Its benefits are enormous, and we encourage our forwarding partners to adopt it.”
Earlier this year, Emirates SkyCargo launched an extensive marketing campaign to promote the benefits of e-freight throughout the industry. The campaign highlighted the replacement of paper documentation out of air cargo with electronic data and messages. Before e-freight, the air cargo industry used the equivalent of 39 Boeing 747 freighters full of paper documents. With the help of SkyChain, Emirates’ fully integrated air cargo management solution, all of Emirates SkyCargo’s transaction could be paperless, with the exception of some Customs authorities that still require physical documents.
E-freight users can enjoy the benefits of a faster service through reduced cycle times, greater reliability and accuracy with its one-time electronic data entry at point of origin, better visibility as electronic documentation allows for online track and trace functionality, and Customs benefits as the number of fines are reduced and deposits are no longer required. In addition, Dubai-based customers received an added financial stimulus whereby Customs does not retain the forwarders’ deposits.
In November 2008, Emirates SkyCargo started sending e-freight shipments from five airports. Today, there are 126 e-freight compliant airports worldwide, 38 of which are within Emirates’ global network. The carrier estimates that more than 50 of its airports will be handling e-freight by the end of 2010.